By Sarah Averbeck, Young Adult Leader
Estella Hornback is 16 years old and is a junior at The Out of Door Academy (ODA) High School. She joined Healthy Teens because of her interest in neuroscience and the effects of physical and mental health on youth. Through her involvement in the Teen Health Educator program, she hopes to gain more knowledge and experience in these areas, to be more able to increase awareness amongst her peers and help them better understand the causes and effects of common health issues.
In addition to being a part of Healthy Teens, Estella helps run a club at ODA called “Girl Talk,” part of a national empowerment program for girls. “Girl Talk” strives to influence and lead teen girls through anything they may encounter in high school and beyond, including mental and physical health and offering advice on dealing with those problems.
When applying for Healthy Teens, Estella found the application process very straightforward. After filling out the online application, she scheduled an interview with a panel of current Young Adult Leaders. Estella shares, “the panel asked me very straightforward questions. The interview was by no means hard or intimidating; it was actually delightful”.
“During my adolescent years, I was bullied in school which was very hard. As a result, I have always wanted to find some way to give back to teens who may be going through the same thing that I did when I was younger. Healthy Teens does exactly what I was hoping to find in means of giving back to teens. Being a Teen Health Educator allows me to help kids through similar situations that I experienced and much more.”
Estella’s first official experience as part of our team was at Family Resources Safe Place 2B youth shelter. Estella shares, “the group I shadowed was small, with only a few teens attending, and I enjoyed seeing the group interact through the icebreaker question. I found seeing the personal connections that could be made as significant, in opening up the conversation for the serious subject we were covering (depression).”